PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team couldn't maintain its hot start Saturday against the University of Saint Joseph. The Wildcats lost an 81-65 Great Northeast Athletic Conference decision to the Blue Jays.
Saint Joseph: 17-2, 5-0 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 10-10, 2-4 GNAC
Nate Patenaude (JWU): 17 points, 6 rebounds
Brian Hogan-Gary (JWU): 11 points, 9 rebounds
Jaecee Martin (USJ): 29 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds
The Wildcats shot 26.9 percent in the second half, which allowed the Blue Jays to outscore JWU, 45-28. Conversely, Saint Joseph shot 48.6 percent in the final 20 minutes.
Johnson & Wales built a 31-17 lead at the 9:37 mark of the first half on a Danny Ampofo steal and dunk. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were outscored 19-6 the rest of the half as they took a slim 37-36 advantage into the locker room.
Deji Johnson's three-pointer was JWU's only basket for the first seven minutes of the second half and that allowed the Blue Jays to amass a 54-40 lead.
The Wildcats knocked down 10 three pointers, but that wasn't enough for JWU to keep up with USJ's inside play. The Blue Jays had 48 points in the paint and a 52-30 rebounding advantage.
Saint Joseph's Jaecee Martin nearly produced a triple-double with a game-high 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Jordan Powell notched 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats are at home on Tuesday to face Albertus Magnus at 7 p.m.